Survey picks Bradley as Manny's next foe
By Joaquin Henson Updated Thursday June 21, 2012 - 12:00am
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Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr.

MANILA, Philippines - A random poll of Filipino promoters, boxing managers and fighters revealed a slight preference for Timothy Bradley Jr. over Juan Manuel Marquez as Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent but the consensus is no matter whom the Filipino ring icon battles in November, he should win by knockout to quiet critics once and for all.

Pacquiao is undecided on whom to face even as Top Rank chairman Bob Arum has designated Nov. 10 for his next ring appointment. The 33-year-old holder of eight world titles in different weight divisions will reportedly celebrate Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis (Chavit) Singson’s birthday in Vigan today. He is scheduled to leave for Los Angeles on June 27 to fulfill commitments then embark on a religious trip to Israel.

ALA Boxing owner Tony Aldeguer chose Bradley for Pacquiao to get the chance to regain the WBO welterweight crown. “I really want to see Manny knock him out as predicted by him and to erase any stigma of his controversial loss,” said Aldeguer. “Actually, it would be a more thrilling fight and less dangerous for Manny.”

International matchmaker Jun Sarreal went for Marquez who hasn’t beaten Pacquiao in three outings but insists he was robbed thrice over. “Marquez is a more exciting fight than Bradley,” said Sarreal whose late brother-in-law Flash Elorde reigned for seven years as world junior lightweight champion in 1960-67. “Even if Marquez is much older than Manny, he’s a warrior. It’s going to be a close fight for sure. But it could also be Bradley as he knows Manny ran out of gas after the sixth round. The same with Marquez who thinks he won his three fights with Manny. I think Manny has to win by knockout. But remember, he started pro boxing in 1995 and he’ll be 34 by December.”

Boxing manager Aljoe Jaro said Pacquiao should fight Bradley next. “I think Manny has to prove that he really beat Bradley,” said Jaro. “Manny has nothing to prove against Marquez who hasn’t beaten Manny in three fights.”

Another boxing manager Johnny Elorde picked Marquez. “It’s just a waste of time to fight Bradley,” said Elorde. “Marquez is best to be Manny’s next opponent because there is nothing to prove against Bradley.” Elorde’s older brother Gabriel Jr, also a boxing manager, disagreed. “I like Bradley,” he said. “Marquez is too old – he’ll be 39 by August.”

Wild Card Parañaque gym owner Rommel Nazario, whose late father Rod was Pacquiao’s former business manager, said it should be Bradley. “I think Bradley is an easier opponent than Marquez,” said Nazario. “It’s a rematch for Manny to really prove himself that he can still knock out his opponent. I’m sure the rematch will be Manny by knockout.”

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said his vote is for Bradley. “I’d like Bradley for Manny to show the world that he definitely won the first fight and a chance to put a stop to all the doubters.” TV boxing producer Boy Cantada said, “I like Marquez – there seems to be something real in their fights, an honest-to-goodness fight always, no holding back.”

PBA commissioner Chito Salud, whose late father Rudy was once the WBC secretary-general, picked Bradley. “Between the two, I’d like to see Manny fight Bradley instead of Marquez,” said Salud. “I want to see Manny dominate Bradley the way we expect him to and validate my belief that Manny isn’t over the hill. Marquez doesn’t interest me anymore after Manny’s three fights with him. They can fight 10 more times and the outcome will always be closely contested.”

Former two-time world title challenger and ALA boxing trainer Edito Villamor voted for Marquez. “I want Marquez because boxing fans weren’t content with the way his last fight with Manny ended,” he said. “Manny doesn’t need to prove anything against Bradley because the whole world knows Manny deserved to win and lost only because of two judges. There is no need for a rematch. Manny has to knock out Marquez to avoid any controversial decision or totally dominate the fight.”

Unbeaten WBO No. 1 flyweight contender Milan Melindo said it should be Bradley. “I think Bradley so Manny gets a chance to prove to everyone that Bradley didn’t deserve the decision in their fight,” he said. “From the start, I knew Bradley would be no match for Manny. I didn’t even watch the fight live on TV because I knew Manny would win easily. I went to Mass when the fight was going on. Later, I found out they cooked the decision. In the replay, I wasn’t convinced Bradley even won the last three rounds. I don’t think he took a single round from Manny. It should’ve been a win by unanimous decision for Manny. After Manny beats Bradley in a rematch, he should go for Marquez because it will be another war between a Filipino legend and a great Mexican warrior. Only two fighters can fight Manny on even terms – Marquez who is a tactical fighter and good counterpuncher and Floyd Mayweather Jr., the best thinking fighter.”

Anson Tiu Co, who manages the Shape Up Gym at the Cooyesan Plaza Hotel in Baguio City, said he prefers Marquez for closure, once and for all.

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